I wrote about Views from Penang Hill the other day and shall share some photos on the journey up today.
Actually, there is something rather romantic about the place. In the 1920s when the British people came to Malaya, they wanted a cool place to unwind. So, they started building several bungalows on Penang Hill. They even imported the train from Switzerland and built a track up the hill.
I can imagine English ladies in long white lacey dresses with matching white, lacey umbrellas and white lacey gloves riding on the train.
They have the old trains made from wood displayed at the Penang Museum and also one at the foothill.
Except for the newer trains, I think the track has remained almost the same since 1920s. It is like a snake going uphill (or down). This track is almost identical to the one in Victoria’s Peak.
Thick slabs of granite are used to make these track. You can see how ‘antique’ the whole design is.
The train goes through the tunnel. Very thrilling (for kids, i.e.).
The ‘branch’ at the track.
The track has a branch where two trains can pass at the same time. As a child, I looked forward to the moment when the one going up and the one coming down meets at this branch. Can you imagine what will happen if the timing is wrong? Of course, nothing untoward has happened, as far as I know.
Generally, Penang Hill has a cooler climate than the Penang island. On certain days, there are lots of mist and temperature hovers around 22-24 deg. celcius (my own estimate). It can be fun to have a group staying at the bungalows. During my schooldays, we often rent the bungalows and scare each other with ghost stories. Penang Hill is famous for ghost stories because during the Japanese Occupation, a lot of English (and other Caucasian) men were killed there. Many of these men were missionary brothers who came to Malaya to spread Christianity. God bless them!